Leadership magazine March/April 2019 V48 No. 4 - Page 12

Making digital media work in school leadership A California superintendent goes undercover to tell a district’s story Whether you fit into the classifica- tion of Baby Boomer or Generation X, Y, or Z, or any other letter in the alphabet, you no doubt recognize digital media has upped the game in an effort to vie for your atten- tion. A growing and popular media is digital storytelling. As an incoming superintendent, I had an ambition to better engage the Desert Sands Unified School District’s 29,000 stu- dents, 2,700 staff, and countless community members. What started as a simple ambi- tion to celebrate employees has evolved into a partnership with DIGICOM Learning and Indio High School’s Institute of Media Production Arts and Creative Technol- ogy career pathway students. Through this partnership, IMPACT students receive real-world experience in digital video pro- duction and storytelling with guidance and support from DIGICOM Learning, which is headed by David Vogel, former president of the Walt Disney Motion Picture Group. Admittedly, the popular television se- ries Undercover Boss always pulled on my heartstrings. Thus, it made sense that I use 12 Leadership Undercover Boss as the title of my video se- ries, with my ambition to recognize employ- ees mirroring that of the television series. Knowing that there may be some copyright concerns, I contacted the show’s producer. I soon discovered that, on the advisement of their legal counsel, I would not be able to borrow the Undercover Boss title. “Not So Undercover Sup” was born. In this video series, I join my faithful sidekick, Public Information Officer Mary Perry, under an assumed alias as an intern. Together, we in- filtrate various departments wearing a not so undercover disguise. Our inaugural episode featured staff from the district’s Nutrition Services department. As an “intern” in that department, I quickly learn that preparing 24,000 meals per day is a daunting task. Once the first episode was finished, a red- carpet premiere was held for the board of education and the video’s cast and crew. The second episode, which featured transportation personnel, was premiered at the fall convocation in front of all staff. The By Scott Bailey